Dr. Peggy Doss, Chancellor of the University of Arkansas at Monticello, announced Wednesday that Director of Athletics Padraic McMeel has resigned his position, effective July 1. McMeel will depart UAM to take a similar position at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota.
McMeel joined the university as director of athletics in December of 2018 – just as the Weevil Football team headed to its first bowl game in decades – and that energy continued. During his tenure, he has increased fundraising efforts each year, including a record $650,000 raised in the 2020-2021 academic year to date. His leadership saw a focus on the student-athlete experience, including the creation of a nutrition center shared by all sports as well as enhancing and renovating several facilities. UAM Baseball and Men’s Basketball earned GAC conference championship titles during McMeel’s term at UAM, and several other teams have had their most competitive seasons in the history of their sports on campus. Another point of pride for McMeel is the attention on the fan experience. His resolve to make enhancements to the game day atmosphere during home competition for multiple sports led to some of the highest attendance the university has seen in recent years.
Of all his achievements at UAM, he counts the hiring of several coaches and athletics staff members at the very top. “The department has an exceptional team in place that continues to build on the foundation and legacy of UAM athletics. I’m proud to have called each of them colleagues,” he said.
Dr. Doss announced a search committee for the position that will be chaired by Vice Chancellor for Student Engagement Dr. Moses Goldmon. Cody Reaves, assistant athletics director for external affairs, will serve as vice-chair. Other members of the search committee include university alumni, staff, and supporters:
Jim Daniels, president of First NaturalState Bank of McGehee, UAM Board of Visitors
Dr. Suzanna Guizar, UAM associate professor of education
Kris Johnson, UAM Assistant men’s basketball coach
Becky Phillips, UAM associate professor of accounting and faculty athletic representative
Scott Saffold, executive vice president of Union Bank in Monticello, UAM Board of Visitors, UAM Foundation Board
Roxanne Smith, UAM Foundation accounting specialist
While the search is underway, Jeff Weaver, Vice Chancellor for Advancement, will provide oversight from the university’s executive council.
Dr. Doss said, “This is an exciting time for UAM, and for our department of athletics. I am grateful for Padraic’s capable leadership over the last few years, and especially during this unique last year. He has positioned his successor to hit the ground running and continue building our athletic programs and supporting student-athlete success.”
The University of Arkansas at Monticello is the home of the Boll Weevils and Cotton Blossoms. The department of athletics includes ten NCAA Division II teams that compete in the Great American Conference: Baseball, Softball, Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Men’s and Women’s Cross Country, Football, Men’s and Women’s Golf, and Volleyball. For more information contact Ember Davis, UAM director of marketing and public relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.